Boardwalk’s new learning and development specialist works to create better hospitality experience

Boardwalk Hotel and Casino’s newly-appointed learning and development specialist, Lisa Sidukwana
NEW ROLE: Boardwalk Hotel and Casino’s newly-appointed learning and development specialist, Lisa Sidukwana

“The path of learning is not a final destination; instead, it marks the beginning of an everlasting and captivating journey.”

This is the thought Boardwalk Hotel and Casino’s newly-appointed learning and development specialist, Lisa Sidukwana, hopes to instil in employees at all levels of the business — one of the tourism jewels of Nelson Mandela Bay.

The 37-year-old relocated from East London with her family in 2023 and in the past two months at Boardwalk has focused on understanding ways to enhance employee performance.

“There are many ways to achieve this — learning and development go beyond mere training,” she said.

“I hope to foster employee engagement and retention, ensuring our staff members find satisfaction and complete involvement in their roles, contributing to both their longevity within Boardwalk and the delivery of exceptional customer service.”

Boardwalk Hotel and Casino general manager Tati Tsunke said Sidukwana’s expertise in learning and development aligned perfectly with the company’s objectives and vision for the future.

“We are excited to see how our team’s development unfolds with her leadership.” 

Though she grew up in the North West, Sidukwana was born in East London and spent frequent holidays with family in the Eastern Cape.

She also holds fond memories of trips to Gqeberha and recalls watching the fireworks over the Boardwalk’s lake, which was redeveloped as part of the new mall.

With a bachelor's degree in economics and management sciences from Walter Sisulu University and an honours in management law and policy from the University of Pretoria, Sidukwana said she had a passion for learning, training and development.

“I feel it is a calling, as it is what I have been doing since university.

“I have a deep passion for connecting with people and assisting them in transforming their lives.

“Witnessing the profound impact of my contributions on individuals truly brightens my day.

“I am enthusiastic about demonstrating to the Boardwalk team that they have the potential to accomplish more, unleashing inspiration and passion, and cultivating a culture where individuals are eager to be a part of a dynamic learning environment.

“My role speaks to succession planning which is a pivotal part of the business, especially for management roles.

“Wherever possible, we upskill junior management for further opportunities within the business.”

Sidukwana is also responsible for onboarding new hires and is building customer service programmes to improve feedback ratings.

“I've pinpointed a need for employees to understand their personal and professional development in align with the unit's business objectives.

“Shift work, which is prevalent in the hospitality sector, poses challenges for course completion.

“I am looking at creating a tailored learning path that corresponds with career aspirations which will allow individuals to learn at their own pace.”

Sidukwana is now looking to create a balance between a shared employee experience — which the business is doing through internal awards — and an individual work experience where the team members feel their efforts are being recognised.

“I embrace the concept of diversity, recognising and appreciating everyone, from the cleaner to the person in the corner office. This brings a great possibility for growth in the business.”

A mother to twin five-year-old boys, Sidukwana said the Friendly City was living up to its name.

In her spare time, the family enjoys exploring the city, while mom has already joined a hiking club.



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